Grief in a Catholic Pastoral Community A Heartfelt Approach to Facing Grief

Grief in a Catholic Pastoral Community: A Heartfelt Approach to Facing Grief

The origin of the word Catholic comes from the Greek “whole”, and our faith is, at its core,” wholly” and “Holy” inclusive. This not only suggests that everyone belongs but that everything belongs. Whatever arises from deep within each and every one of us is valid and worthy of exploring, including the dark voids that we enter into in grief.

Heartfelt provides the safe space to embrace the deep, the dark and the painful and together we are able to walk through it with God alone, as well as with other like-minded people who live grief in their own way. Together our hearts open to the gift of prayer in community.

Prayer is our key to crossing the veil from an opaque to a transparent vision of life. A transparent vision is one in which experience is transcendent and the luminosity of a wisdom, pastoral world guided by spirit draws us nearer to God. Grief can be a portal to this translucent way of seeing, especially with prayer. When we pray in a contemplative way, by retreating and sitting quietly like Jesus, we start to see life, through the eyes of the heart, and what we see is God in everything, even our in our sorrow.

Being pastoral, we companion each other on this spiritual journey where we find meaning in grief. We listen, we empathise, and we care prayerfully, which means that we don’t touch and interfere with the words of our friends, we allow the echoes of their feelings to land softly in our hearts. Being present to each other is the elixir that heals us in community. There is no judgement or advice given, just the pure listening ear of a tender and merciful heart. And if we are called, our grief can take this pastoral stance far and wide, to be the beacon of light and love as we reach out in service and Love to our companions along the way.